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Promoting the rights of young women and girls in Zambia

Strengthening Girls’ Rights! Reproductive health and HIV prevention for young women and girls in Zambia II

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Country
  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2023 to 2026

  • Products and expertise

    State and democracy


Women and girls from low-income families or rural areas are disadvantaged in Zambian society and face multiple forms of discrimination. Traditional gender roles, norms and attitudes mean that women are expected to show obedience to their husbands or male family members. This restricts their freedom to make their own decisions and their access to social and health services.

More than half the population of Zambia is under the age of 18. It is mainly young people between the ages of 15 and 24 who become infected with HIV, many of them young women. The number of early marriages has also hardly decreased over the years.

Zambian women often lack economic opportunities, which makes them more dependent on partners and male family members. Due to early marriages, caring responsibilities and pregnancies, many girls and young women have to drop out of school. This reduces their career opportunities, which in turn hampers Zambia’s economic development.

Eleven peer educators laugh, cheer and raise their arms in the air in Kasempa.


Selected governmental and non-governmental stakeholders in the project regions increasingly take action to improve the rights of young women and girls – with regard to the prevention of HIV, early pregnancies and gender-based violence.


The project operates in the following priority areas:

  • It supports the relevance of local HIV and AIDS counsellors within the administrative structures, thus allowing educational measures to be implemented more effectively such as the Join-In Circuit on AIDS, Love, and Sexuality
  • The project works to actively involve young people in the development of youth-friendly and gender-specific services.
  • Through awareness-raising measures and dialogues with young people, the project works to improve the willingness of gatekeepers, such as religious and traditional stakeholders, to promote better access to health services for young people.

Last update: November 2023

A person speaks during a professional development course for DACAs and PACAs in Chongwe, standing next to a poster while two other people listen.

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